It’s Official – We are a Cat Friendly Practice!
As you may have noticed, we have been working towards making our clinic a more cat-friendly place. And now it’s official- we are an AAFP approved Cat Friendly Practice!
Now, I’m sure you’ve got questions- What exactly is a Cat Friendly Practice, and who are the AAFP? Why is making Lawrence Park Animal Hospital cat-friendly important? What is so different about being cat-friendly vs. being a ‘regular’ vet hospital? And what about dogs- does Lawrence Park Animal Hospital still love them? (answer – of course!)
What is a Cat Friendly Practice and who are the AAFP?
AAFP stands for the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Started in 1970, it is an organization of veterinarians who aim to improve the overall health and welfare of cats. The AAFP started the Cat Friendly Practice program to help veterinary practices elevate the standard of care for cats. To become certified, a practice must complete an application which includes meeting feline-friendly criteria in ten different areas of their practice, complete an online checklist, and submit photos and materials supporting their application. Once submitted, the application is evaluated and must be approved by the AAFP.
What is so different about being cat-friendly vs. being a ‘regular’ vet hospital?
You don’t have to be a veterinarian to know that cats are very different from dogs. But the reality is that most veterinary practices, when looked at from a pet’s perspective, are designed with dogs in mind. This makes sense considering that most practices see so many more dogs than cats. However, if our goal is to have more cats get the care they deserve, we need to start thinking about our practice from a cat’s perspective. This is where the Cat Friendly Practice Criteria come in- In order to apply for the program, a practice must meet several criteria in each of ten different areas:
- Staff Training & Continuing Education
- Client Communication
- Veterinary Practice / Waiting Room
- Feline Handling & Interaction with Clients
- Examination Room & Clinical Records
- Wards Facilities
- Pain Management / Operating Room & Anesthesia
- Surgical Equipment & Dentistry
- Diagnostic Imaging & Laboratory Facilities
- Treatment / Health & Safety
- Preventative Care by Life Stages
Why is making Lawrence Park Animal Hospital cat-friendly important?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are 81.7 million owned cats versus 72 million owned dogs, yet the reported number of cat visits to the veterinarian has declined. In fact, many (if not most) veterinary practices report seeing twice as many dogs as they do cats! As passionate lovers and caretakers of animals, we believe it is our duty to promote health and wellness for all pets. But how do we get more cats to visit the veterinarian? By making it easier for cats and their owners to come into our hospital– in short, being cat-friendly!
What about dogs- do we still love them? OF COURSE! We are equal opportunity animal lovers!! We don’t want to see any fewer dogs- we just want to see more of their feline friends!